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  • Single Touch Payroll Employer Transition Working Group key messages 13 May 2021

    Welcome and introduction

    The Chair welcomed everyone to the first Single Touch Payroll Employer Transition Working Group meeting.

    The Chair explained the purpose of the group and highlighted the importance of this group to gain feedback and input from the community and industry as we move into Phase 2 of single touch payroll (STP).

    Project sponsor welcome

    The project sponsor welcomed all the members and thanked them for their time and participation in the group and outlined:

    • the current context of 984,000 employers with 81% of employers reporting
    • the primary driver for Phase 2 is to support the administration of the social security system
    • the role of the group, to support the employer experience. There is an STP Advisory Group, next meeting 20 May, which sits above this group and has a broader strategic focus, and the Digital Service Provider Strategic Working Group which focuses on technical issues and the software build for Phase 2.

    Member introductions

    Members introduced themselves and outlined what outcomes they hoped to achieve.

    Phase 2 introduction

    An overview of the key changes being introduced as part of Phase 2 was provided. Members reported feedback and insights on STP Phase 2 including:

    • requesting a report on digital service provider (DSP) progress for future meetings
    • communications around STP Phase 2 are needed soon, there is an urgency to start sharing the STP Phase 2 message
    • the need for a clear process and communications on how to make corrections as correcting data in a timely fashion will be important
    • highlighted there was some ‘COVID-19 fatigue’ amongst employers with the various messages and changes from ATO and government.

    Phase 2 engagement strategy

    The ATO provided an overview of the STP Phase 2 Employer and Intermediaries Engagement Strategy. The strategy focuses on personas, which have largely been informed from Phase 1 behaviours.

    Phase 2 correspondence

    The group discussed the correspondence to be sent to employers announcing Phase 2.

    The group were informed that variations of this message would also be included in correspondence issuing to employers who have not yet commenced STP reporting.

    Member feedback

    • The correspondence might raise some questions about the start date and deferrals process. Some employers might contact their DSPs.
    • The timing of the correspondence, should it be later in the year considering the DSPs deferrals process that was to come.
    • What information would be available for the advisors to support employers?

    The group were advised:

    • DSPs and tax professionals will be informed of the correspondence via ATO newsletters.
    • The tax agent client list sent in early May raised awareness of Phase 2 and the support materials available now and into the future.

    Other business

    Future meeting dates will be added to the calendar in the next week to ensure plenty of advanced notice is provided to the group.

      Last modified: 16 Mar 2022QC 68154